Love In the Dark


Holy Updates Batman! I'm glad you liked the last chapter everyone- thanks for reviews. I've been insanely busy lately, what with a major show coming up in two weeks. I've been making lots of art. Please look on my profile for more info on my art stuff. I've also got my very own website up! I did it myself, so don't make fun of it, lol.

Also, I've been getting a lot of reviews and messages asking me about updating my other stories. Please, please, please, wait until I am finished here. I don't want to lose my momentum with this story, so I am just sticking to this one. Also, for those of you who have asked, my Mom is doing better. She is still feeling kind of crappy, but she's not in the hospital either, so I call that a good thing.

For those of you who mentioned the typos...I am sorry about that. In my other stories, I normally edit each chapter at least four or five times before posting. However, with the amount of time I have these days and how often I post, I usually just read through once or twice after writing. As I'm actually writing these files on the doc. manager on ffnet, I don't even do a proper spellcheck, lol. Yes, I will fix them, when I have time. I figure when I'm completely finished writing this story, I will go back and edit it and improve it. :)

Thanks for reading, as always.

x-x-x

Voldemort sat in his chair on a dias in the Malfoy's ballroom. The entire room was filled, full of his followers- old and new. He knew that they had a long road ahead, but they had certainly pulled off quite the coup. While there were more injured or killed than he had wanted, they still gained quite a few.

Malfoy Manor would be full up, until the Lestranges managed to get to their own home under the Fidelis. Speaking of which...

He smirked as he saw Bellatrix, one of his most faithful. She had been ecstatic to be free of that place, and she would be a good teacher for his new recruits. Not to mention her dueling skills. He saw the woman speaking to her sister, Narcissa. While Narcissa wasn't marked, she regularly attended meetings and dealt with their injured. He was glad that at least two of the Black sisters managed to reunite. It would have been perfect to have the third, to complete the set, but Andromeda was lost to them forever, wherever she was in the muggle world.

He grit his teeth at the thought of her daughter. Nymphadora Tonks! An up and coming Auror, according to what his followers had reported. Not only was she a skilled duelist, she was a metamorph as well. Too bad that she would have to die. Hmm...perhaps he could have his men capture her. Any offspring she would have would be more likely to have the talent as well. Would she be resistant to the Imperious?

Moody had killed over 30 men during the battle- the old bastard was a constant thorn in his side. He couldn't wait to kill him. He would have to do it himself. Too bad he had no idea where the old man lived.

And Shacklebolt, the other Auror that had stood out. Not too much information on him- he came to the UK just a few years beforehand, transferring to the Auror Department. No family- no known friendships outside of his coworkers. He was a skilled duelist, very skilled, and very powerful. He would either have to be eliminated, or converted. A wand like that would be useful to have. He would have men investigate.

Severus...he had been there too. Voldemort frowned at this, thin fingers clenching his armrest in anger, making the wood creak dangerously under the pressure. Severus had fought, and fought well. He'd known for a while now that the man was a traitor- he had to die. Unfortunately, the man seemed to know this, as he never seemed to leave the Hogwarts grounds. Well...sooner or later, he would have to leave. And he knew just the way to do it. It was no secret that the man cared about his Slytherins. He wanted to kill the man himself- to make sure everyone knew no one could just...leave his service.

And...Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived- had been there! Oh, how furious he was when he found out that they'd missed each other only by a few minutes. The handle of his armrest twisted off at this, landing at his feet with a dull thud. It bounced off the dias.

Bellatrix and Narcissa approached, bowing low. "My Lord? Is something wrong with your chair?" Narcissa asked quietly, keeping her gaze down.

"No. Fix it, Bella."

Bellatrix drew out her wand, and with a flick, the chair was repaired. She bowed again at his feet, her dark eyes glittering with happiness and a bit of...insanity. He had feared this. The woman hadn't been the most stable to begin with, what with her penchant of pain under the cruciatus, and her...history. Being at Azkaban most likely made her worse.

"My Master...I am so glad that you freed us of our cells..." She breathed, taking his hand into hers, kissing it lovingly. Voldemort just barely managed to keep himself from sneering. She had said this repeatedly in the hours after they had come to the Manor. While he did admire Bella's devotion, he knew that she cared for him much more than she ought to. He would never return her affections- it was beneath him. Still, her devotion was useful.

At her side, Narcissa stood still, keeping her gaze down.

"I am glad to have you back, Bella. At least I know you won't betray me." Voldemort withdrew his hand.

Bella straightened. "Yes! Master, did you hear of Severus fighting at the old fool's side?"

"Oh, I certainly did." Voldemort purred. "And the Potter whelp was there as well."

Bella blinked. "The child? I did not see him, or I would have taken him away and brought him to you, my Lord-"

"I know, Bella. If I had expected him to be there, I would have stayed there myself and killed him. However...he will get what is due. Narcissa, are all the rooms prepared?"

The woman gave him a slight nod.

"Good. Have our guests get some well deserved rest."

"Yes, m'Lord." The woman murmured, and walked away.

Bella stayed by his side, looking up at him adoringly. "Master, do you need anything of me?"

"I know that your husband and his brother are preparing their Manor for habitation under the Fidelis, however, I would like for you to stay here, so you can be close by."

"Yes, My Lord."

"We have quite a few men that aren't versed well in the Unforgivables and some of your...specialties, so I would like for you to be in charge of training them. They're also using unfamiliar wands, so they will struggle at first. Feel free to punish those who are doing poorly."

"Yes, My Lord." The woman repeated, inching closer to him.

"...Of course, I would like for you to take care of yourself as well. I know all those years in Azkaban must have made you feel tired and ill- I want you to be in your best shape, so you can fight at my side."

The woman bowed low to him. "Yes Master, anything you wish."

x-x-x

Rufus Scrimengour was not a stupid man. So he had completely expected the floo call from Albus Dumbledore late that afternoon. There were already whispers of the Dark Lord having returned for quite some time, even at the Ministry of Magic, where Fudge was trying his best to keep people from saying such things.

With the events of the previous night, everyone knew what had happened, but they were just too afraid to say it. They were at war, again. Rufus had only been a small child, not even Hogwarts age, when Dumbledore had defeated Grindenwald. Unlike so many of his Gryffindor colleagues in the Auror corps, he wasn't blind to the man's faults and subtle political manipulations.

What had really opened his eyes the previous night was the child that had fought at the Headmaster's side. No, not a child. A warrior, in the making. Harry Potter. While Rufus hadn't been able to watch the boy in action, as he was a bit preoccupied, the fact that he was still standing at the end really told him something. This child, this...boy...was the future. He was the next Albus Dumbledore, the next Merlin...perhaps.

So...when he met with Albus Dumbledore in the Headmaster's office that afternoon, he really wanted to know more about Harry Potter. Rufus wore a fresh pair of Auror's robes, as his old ones were stained in blood, filth, and sweat- his wife was doing her damnedest to get the stuff out. They'd most likely have to toss them. Rufus sat across from the old Headmaster, trying his best not to be impressed with the man's grand office and numerous trinkets. Even Fawkes, the man's legendary Phoenix, didn't distract him from his mission.

Rufus adjusted his glasses, leaning forward. The Headmaster just proposed that he would be calling for Fudge's resignation, and if Rufus supported this, then Albus would put his name forward as Minister of Magic. Rufus honestly did not want to be Minister. There was a reason why Amelia was Head of the DMLE for so many years- that was where the real force of the Ministry was held. Not only did she control the Auror forces, she also sat as a Judge in the Wizengamot for major trials- something he hadn't even gotten to do yet.

"I...see."

Dumbledore looked thoughtful. "I see you're not very enthusiastic."

"Well, to be honest, with this war coming, my skills could be better used with the DMLE, rather than acting Minister."

"Well, Harry and I went over the possible other candidates, and you seemed the best. Not only you politically connected, you have a strong work history and background in protecting others as an Auror. We need a Minister that would make people feel safe."

Harry Potter had recommended him? This insinuated that the boy and the Headmaster were close. Interesting.

"And why is Harry Potter not here with us, then?" Rufus asked.

Dumbledore smiled. "He is resting, of course. We all had a long evening, as you know."

Rufus leant back in his chair, giving a Look to the man.

Dumbledore sighed. "Of course, if you would like to meet him..."

"I would. We didn't get a chance to talk last night, and I wanted to thank him for his help."

"...Of course. Kipsy!" A house elf appeared beside the Headmaster.

"Yes Headmaster Dumblydore sir?" The elf chirped.

"Could you please fetch Harry Potter for me? Tell him that I and Rufus Scrimengour would like to talk to him. Ah...just him, if you will?"

The elf nodded firmly, and popped away.

Dumbledore smiled at this. "Ah, the lad has a tendency to bring his friends with him wherever he goes- popular, you know."

"And pretty good with a wand, I gather. He was still standing at the end of that Battle last night."

"Oh...yes, well, he is rather good. He's been training for some time."

Rufus frowned slightly at this. The way that the Headmaster said this made him wonder...how long had the boy been training exactly, and why?

"I've seen him in the papers...wasn't he adopted by the Malfoys some years ago?"

"...ah, yes. I...would have dissuaded him from doing that, if I had known..." The man cleared his throat. "But I think he knows better now to place his trust blindly."

There was a knock at the office door.

"Come in, Harry."

The door opened, and Rufus stood, watching the young man enter. He was a bit short for his age, and rather slender. Strange, he wasn't built like most duelists, but he certainly moved like one. His hair was long, pulled back into a thick plait that ended somewhere around his thighs. He wore a dark green shirt, and black trousers- ah yes, the boy was a Slytherin. His brilliant green eyes were guarded and wary. Rufus could tell that he was favoring one foot over the other- perhaps he'd been injured the previous evening.

"Headmaster, Mr. Scrimengour." He greeted.

"Harry my boy, please you like a lemondrop? Perhaps some tea?"

Harry sat down next to Rufus. "No thank you Headmaster." The boy said quietly.

"Mr. Scrimengour and I were talking about our idea. He wanted to meet with you."

Harry turned slightly, looking the man in the eye. Rufus was taken aback by the sudden smile, transforming the serious, but attractive face, into a breathtaking one. Rufus cleared his throat, extending his hand. "Mr. Potter. I wanted to thank you for your help last night."

Harry shook his hand, still smiling. "Thank you, sir. Of course, I wasn't the only one there- you and your Aurors did the best they could- in particular, Miss Tonks. I understand she's just finished her training?"

"...Yes. That's right. I believe that was her first major battle- I heard she'd been involved with a few Deatheaters last summer, but I suppose it was a real eye opener for her. And you as well."

The boy looked away at this, smile fading slightly. "Yes. Well, all of us will have quite a bit of work to do in the near future. I would understand if you did not want to be Minister- I think all of here know who the real power is behind the Ministry."

Scrimengour glanced at Dumbledore, who was watching the young Slytherin carefully. Why did he feel so uneasy?

The Headmaster's floo flared. "Dumbledore! Those twin menaces set off fireworks in my office again!" Dolores Umbridge's voice screeched through the office.

Dumbledore sighed. "I'll come through, Dolores. Excuse me, gentlemen." Dumbledore left.

Rufus shook his head at this. "Seems like the students here don't care for Umbridge either." He attempted to joke, watching the boy's reaction. Potter didn't look so surprised at the interruption of their meeting. Interesting.

"We have reason to. Not only did she use a blood quill on students during their detentions, she also isn't trying to teach us a thing." The boy said simply. Rufus was rocked by this revelation, but tried not to show it.

"This hasn't been reported- I would have heard of it."

"No...you wouldn't have." Harry said quietly, looking down at his lap. "She's no longer using the quill, because we complained to the Headmaster. But she really shouldn't be here at all. I think any reports that the students have made have been...mysteriously disappearing in the post."

"...I see." This was a grave accusation, something that needed to be dealt with quickly. Tampering with mail was frowned upon, especially in times like this. Interception of letters could lead to disasters.

"While such things are important..." The boy turned to face him head on. "What I'd like to know is...do you think you would make a competent Minister?"

"...I would, but I don't think I would be best for that position."

"Well...Fudge can't be there any longer. The man is corrupt, and an idiot. Believe me, I've met him numerous times. Sure, the Minister just might be a 'Face', but I believe with you in that position, people will believe that we've really got someone that can help and protect them."

"I see. So...you and Dumbledore are teaming up on me, eh?"

The boy raised a brow. "Where did you get the idea that Dumbledore and I are teaming up on anything? We just happened to agree on something."

Rufus stared at the boy before him, realizing that had made him feel uncomfortable earlier. Albus Dumbledore and the Boy Who Lived were not friends or comrades, or even considered themselves colleagues. Harry Potter did not like Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter did not trust him. And for some reason, Albus Dumbledore felt the same.

Moody would probably know. He always seemed to know.

"I see. Well, I will think the offer over. I must be going- much to do. Please let the Headmaster know."

The boy gave him a slight nod, and Rufus stood. "It was a pleasure meeting you at last." And he left.

x-x-x

Dean grimaced as he limped through the corridor several days later, extremely early one morning. It was just after dawn, and Hogwarts was silent. He'd been on an all-nighter mission again. Man, this was killing him. He was looking forward to that day- no classes. Just sleep.

He heard a noise up ahead, and quickly ducked into an alcove, and with a flick of his wand, he vanished from sight.

Umbridge and Filch's voices were heard.

"We can't just let them get away with this- Scrimengour was threatening me! Me! That no good Potter boy and those-those friends of his! Troublemakers, all of them!" Umbridge spat.

"Now, now Dolores, we'll get our revenge soon. While have them hanging by their thumbs in the dungeons soon." Filch said gruffly. Dean held his breath as he spotted Mrs. Norris sniffing about, coming closer to him.

Both adults paused as they saw the cat sniffing at him.

"Mrs. Norris? Find a sneaky student did we?" The cat hissed, curling about Dean's feet.

Dean reacted, knocking Filch to the ground, breaking his nose. Mrs. Norris screeched, and Umbridge had her wand out in a flash. Dean, however, was quicker. He drew out his wand, and with a silent flick, She fell to the ground, her insides spilling out onto the floor. Dean ran like hell down the corridor, heart pounding in his chest. He didn't know where to go- Filch had still been conscious when he ran off- he needed to go elsewhere- ah, the Forest. Make them think it was a deatheater.

Dean booked it, making his way outside the castle, making sure to wake up the portraits as he went. After all, they would report that they heard someone running, but saw nothing. Dean caught his breath by Hagrid's hut, and calmed himself down. He looked up at the November sky, wondering when it had become so easy to kill people.

He snuck back into the castle, making sure to remain undetected, and not going anywhere near where Umbridge had been. He was taking a shower in the Gryffindor boy's dorm when the others woke up.

Everyone was told at breakfast that morning, that a suspected Deatheater had gotten into the castle, as Umbridge had been killed because of an extremely dark curse. Dean made sure to look appropriately shocked and frightened at the news.

By lunch time, Fudge was ousted from the Ministry, and there was a major investigation as to how a deatheater could have gotten onto the grounds. While these were all certainly pluses, Dean did NOT want to get caught. What in the hell was he going to do?

x-x-x

Oh noes! I'm glad Umbridge is dead, but what about Dean? Do you think he'll get caught? Please review.